Now let’s begin with the fact that I am the biggest wuss when it comes to anything medical or dental. I get woozy when someone describes a cut, passed out when I was training to be a lifeguard because they talked about tourniquet use to stop limb bleeding and still request nitrous oxide to get my teeth cleaned. However, I do donate blood to the Red Cross every 56 days.

It all goes back to a bet I lost with a college student that I was working with a few years ago. She was organizing a Blood Drive and was trying to get volunteers. I went through my list of issues that I have with blood but she was not easily dissuaded.  She and I made a bet regarding some frivolous campus issue and if I won, she had to assist me with a huge project I had been putting off and if she won, I had to donate blood … and so I did.

My first donation was not without a lot of drama and queasiness. I was really hoping to be anemic or some other reasonable excuse to get out of it but I passed the finger prick test with flying colors. Ugh! I had told the student that she had to talk to me / distract me the entire time so that I wouldn’t have to think about it and she did. I made it through but didn’t like it a bit. The bet was for one donation but when I saw how essential it was, I decided that I would do it for as long as they asked me. And boy do they….like clockwork, the American Red Cross calls me to arrange an appointment in the area. I still need someone to distract me, I still take 1/2 hour to recoup afterwards and I definitely wear the sticker that claims, “Be Nice to Me, I gave blood today” all day.

If you haven’t ever given blood or simply haven’t in a while, March is Red Cross Month so why not give it a shot because most sincerely, if I can do it, anyone can. *

*Yes, there are some restrictions that may limit your ability to donate. Check out the American Red Cross for eligibility requirements.